If you dye your hair, you may not want to give up the exact shade of buttery blonde or chocolate brown that you’ve spent years getting just right just because you're expecting. Fortunately, there are pregnancy -safe boxed hair dyes that are made without harsh, pungent chemicals that will still give you even, shiny coverage. Whether you're hoping to blend roots, hide grays, or just try a fun color, these dyes and pigments are easy enough to use right at home (though you should still wear gloves and cover your clothes).
Hair Dye & Pregnancy
Like so much about pregnancy, actual facts and figures about the use of hair dye during pregnancy is scarce because tests aren't regularly done on pregnant people. The good news is that “the chemicals used in hair dyes are not generally thought to be dangerous for a developing baby, but the data [is] very limited,” Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist, tells Romper. With that said, it’s understandable and advisable to err on the side of caution, and you may wish to avoid hair dyes that contain ammonia, bleach, and other chemicals.
According to the limited research out there, "exposure to... chemicals from hair dyes or hair products results in very limited systemic absorption, unless there are burns or abscesses on the scalp.” For this reason, you can decrease the risk for absorption by choosing techniques where the dye is applied directly to the hair shaft, not on the scalp, King says. She also recommends not applying dye to broken, infected, or inflamed skin on the scalp, skipping dyes that contain ammonia or peroxide, and even waiting until the third trimester, “when the fetus is less vulnerable,” she says.
Even if you're not expecting, it may be wise to skip the chemical hair dyes whenever possible. "A recent study found that participants who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year before the study’s start were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not use it," Carla Burns, a senior research analyst at EWG tells Romper.
Read on for 11 pregnancy-safe boxed hair dyes that will get your hair any color from blonde to black to pink.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
1. A Demi-Permanent Hair Dye
This customized hair color considers your specific hair type and color goals, plus a colorist crafts your custom shade. It includes everything you'll need for a successful dye job at home including gloves, a stain guard, shampoo, conditioner, a brush with your first order, and more. The demi-permanent option is a great choice if you're pregnant as it does not contain ammonia, and while this color isn't permanent, it will last up to 24 washes.
2. A Dye Made With Natural Ingredients
This gel hair dye is packed with plant-based ingredients including chamomile, walnut, gotu kola, rosemary oil and Italian pigments crafted from botanical ingredients. Made without ammonia, parabens, or resorcinol (an ingredient the EWG classifies as an endocrine disruptor), this pregnancy-safe hair dye comes in 31 shades and applies quickly and easily.
3. A Hair Masque With A Tint
Get your hair soft and silky while also adding a tint. This personalized masque from AURA is cruelty-free, vegan, and made without icky ingredients. After just one use, you'll see a noticeable pigment in your hair and you can choose from "fantasy" shades like magenta, purple, and teal, or more classic browns and blondes that add richness and shine to your existing color.
4. A Natural Dye
The Overtone brand has been having a bit of a moment this year (you may have seen it pop up on your Instagram feed), and for good reason. Instead of a traditional dye, this is a color depositing conditioner that helps keep your hair's color looking even and fresh, not faded. If you're pregnant, it still may be a good idea to check in with your doctor before use: "Our products don't contain any harmful chemicals, but we always recommend reviewing our ingredient list with your doctor to determine if it's safe for your pregnancy," per the brand's website.
5. A Hair Dye That Helps To Strengthen Hair
Free of ammonia and parabens, this plant-based hair dye is permanent. Made by French brand, Keune, using nourishing ingredients like argan oil and phytokeratin (which helps improve hair's structure) this dye will help hair look shiny and strong while providing all-over, even color for a certain je ne sais quoi.
6. An Affordable, Pregnancy-Safe Hair Dye
This ammonia-free formula is rich in hydrating flower oils so it keeps hair shiny and smooth while depositing even color. It's a permanent option available in 34 shades so you can finally get that rose gold or auburn hair of your dreams.
7. A Pregnancy-Safe Hair Dye You Can Get At Target
Made without ammonia, silicone, or alcohol, this dye is gentle on hair while still super effective. The permanent formula includes argan oil, soy protein, and oat milk (turns out it's not just for lattes) for even coverage that isn't drying or damaging.
8. A Wide Range Of Shades
If you haven't had much luck matching your color with boxed dye, try this formula which comes in 31 nuanced colors designed to match most people's natural hair. It's made with certified organic ingredients including aloe vera, coconut oil, chamomile, and argan to leave hair looking shiny, even, and soft.
9. A Pop Of Temporary Color Without The Chemicals
If you're thinking of going bold but you're not quite ready to fully commit, you could try this chemical-free temporary dye (made without bleach) that's cream-based and feels hydrating on the hair. It comes out after one wash and is available in tons of fun colors.
10. A Demi-Permanent Hair Dye That Lasts
Clairol is a leader in the hair dye game, and it turns out they have a more natural option that's a good choice if you're pregnant. This one has no ammonia or added parabens, lasts up to 28 washes, and contains hair-healthy ingredients like aloe and coconut, plus it's a cream formula that won't drip all over your bathroom.
11. A Henna Hair Dye
If you're looking for truly minimal ingredients, then henna is as a great choice. The only ingredient in this dye is henna leaves, which conditions hair as it gives it all over color and shine. The one caveat with henna however is that it can only make hair darker.
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